Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social network promoting has worked for me...thank God

You've spent hours, days months or even years writing your novel, novella or short story collection...you found a publisher who offers a contract, the edits are complete, the cover is gorgeous and you're waiting for the release date. That date comes...and goes. Sales start off good (friends and family are all buying it) and then...sales slow down. Now what?

It's time to promote. Self promotion is not an easy task for writers. Since the evolution of the Internet promoting has become easier but it still can be a frustrating roadblock for writers.

So do you turn to a public relations person to...or do you venture off as a self-promoter.

When I received my first contract in early 2009, I was doing a major happy dance. The book came out, sales were great...and then...they almost stopped. I panicked. I almost cried.

So what happened? I joined facebook, twitter and myspace- but I was an unknown author. I had one book under my belt, little experience and nowhere to turn.

The steps I took were to contact the local newspaper, my old high school for exposure in their newsletter (hoping for a story about a local gal gone big) and posting all over the social websites. Article in the paper went off with a hitch...nothing from the old high school and social networks gravitated some traffic.

Forget writers' block...I had writers' depression.

I was contacted by a friend/local author about a new blog for romance writers that was being formed. I jumped on it. I even volunteered to be the blog tour coordinator. I started to get followers on the blog. Next step, I saw a fellow writer on facebook who had a weekly blog that let other author post six sentences from their WIP on her site. I signed up...more blog followers.

I started responding to author's facebook comments...made friends. More blog followers. I did book reviews for new authors. Made friends and more blog followers.

From a press release by my publisher I was invited to do an Internet radio interview with the Author's Show. I was flying high.

Next up...two more erotic books picked up by a publisher. More blog tours coordinated with the first blog group. two more blog groups requested my assistance. I was swamped...but happy.

Then...it happened. I innocently posted on the facebook wall of a local radio morning show's post. The head morning DJ invited me to be a friend.I accepted. He chatted with me and started following my recently started facebook fan page. He saw some of my online web content about sex and a married woman. He invited me to be a guest on the show and discuss my article. I JUMPED again. Feedback was great and am now a regular weekly guest.

It has taken me my entire life (42 years) to live my dream of being a writing and a little over a year to become this...popular? Successful?

Neither- just happy as ever. I feel I have succeeded...I am proud of myself, my writing and my local celebrity-ism.

3 comments:

carabristol said...

Great post. I used to work in public relations, and within a very short period of time, the "rules" and methods have changed dramatically. I'm having to relearn everything I thought I knew about promotion.

I'm happy to see that your strategy worked for you...because it's pretty much what I'm attempting to do!

Savanna Kougar said...

Dawne, wow, you should be proud of yourself. I can't do the Facebook thing, but I'm glad it's working so well for you.

Nerine Dorman said...

The trick is to have a broad footprint, to blog, and blog often, to build a following on more than one social networking platform and to find ways to cross-post.

I hail from a media industry background and I reckon more changes have happened in the past two or three years than ever before.

Marketing isn't a case of having an ad in the newspaper, it's a case of creating a buzz online, of growing followers... which eventually do the thing.